Attribution: Zeynel Cebeci (Wikipedia Creative Commons)
Prime butterfly areas (PBAs) are considered priority sites of butterfly conservation. Along with Important Plant Areas (IPAs), PBAs comprise significant Important Biodiversity Areas (IBAS) that are eligible to be included within a framework of internationally-recognised Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs). Lebanon, with its unique geography and location in a region with an intrinsic geologic and climatic history, supports a diverse butterfly fauna. Many of these butterflies are considered globally or regionally threatened by international standards, or are endemic or near endemic restricted-range species found almost nowhere else. Additionally, Lebanon as yet has no national red lists and many of its butterfly populations still haven’t been evaluated or are altogether data-deficient. Thus, one of the responsibilities of the National Coordinating Group-KBAs, the committee of Lebanese scientists, experts, and conservationists, is to generate such a red list. As a member of this group, I have proposed, the first time in Lebanon, a map and list of initial PBAs where we could start from, as places of focus where butterfly conservation in Lebanon could be launched. Coordinating efforts between local butterfly gardens, IPAs, PBAs, butterfly biomonitoring, and international experts will lead to a better understanding of butterfly-plant relationships and the threats and pressures acting upon the environment. Additional PBAs will be added later on, based on the results of biomonitoring and evaluation by the expert panel.